When having a gastric bypass or gastric sleeve procedure, it is crucial that you understand and follow a strict pre-operative and post-operative diet to get the best possible results.
Please see below the post-operative dietary stages a bypass patient has to go through.
- 0 – 4 weeks – liquid only
- 4 – 8 weeks – soft food only
- 8 – 12 weeks – “normal” eating
Gastric Bypass / Gastric Sleeve Post-Operative Diet
You are allowed only fluids from the time of your operation for 4 weeks. This will ensure optimum healing & hence allow maximum benefit from your surgical procedure. As you will be only consuming fluids it is essential you follow all the guidelines. They are designed to; provide you with a balanced intake of energy, protein & all other nutrients, to ensure you have a good recovery, kick start your weight loss & boost general well-being.
You must not eat any solid food during this time.
It is essential you take a multivitamin/mineral & a calcium supplement long term. You may find a chewable option more tolerable; alternatively break the tablet in half. We recommend Calcichew or Sevenseas Calcium Chewable. Some own brand products are also suitable just make sure they contain vitamins and minerals.
Fluid – you should aim for 2.5 – 3.5 litres. This should be spread evenly throughout the day. Everyone has different fluid requirements; the best way to check you are well hydrated is to look at the colour of your urine. If it is pale, you are drinking enough, if it is dark e.g. straw coloured or darker or if there is very little, you need to drink more.
- The recommended portion size for a cup of fluid is <200mls.
- Each drink should be taken >1 hour apart.
- Fizzy drinks are not allowed.
During this time you may feel hungry – this is normal & is caused by the stretch receptors in the stomach being upset during surgery. This will soon pass, keep motivated by knowing you are on the road to successful long term weight loss.
Suitable Fluid Suggestions
- Tea “no added sugar”
- Coffee, “no added sugar”
- Skimmed and semi-skimmed milk
- Bovril and water
- Fruit and vegetable juices
- Consomme/ clear soups
- Creamed soups without bits
- Low fat hot chocolate drinks
- Low fat thin yoghurts without bits
You will now be ready to start a soft diet. Aim for the consistency of cottage pie/ well cooked cauliflower cheese/scrambled egg – foods easily broken with a fork – avoid all crunchy foods/potato skins and salads at this stage.
- Drink plenty of fluids before a meal and leave at least 1 hour before drinking again.
- Continue taking your multivitamin/mineral + calcium supplement.
- Aim to follow a balanced diet by eating a variety of foods and by choosing low fat/low sugar options, where possible, this will maximise your weight loss & ensure of optimum health.
- Continue to be prepared, choose sensibly from menus.
- At this stage you will notice you may be able to tolerate slightly larger quantities of food therefore aim for 3 meals per day & try using a tea plate or child’s plate when eating to prevent over eating.
- Avoid BREAD – including toast, tea cakes, crumpets, pizza, pitta, naan and all other bread products. MEAT/CHICKEN (minced meat is allowed) & RICE for 3 months post-op – these foods are the foods most commonly associated with blockages.
- Continue to avoid fizzy drinks & chewing gum long term.
Suitable Soft Food Suggestions
- Scrambled egg/omelette/polenta/poached eggs
- Porridge with skimmed /semi skimmed milk
- Weetabix with Skimmed/semi skimmed milk
- Thick fruit smoothies with a selection of fruits/banana/strawberries/summerfuits/mangoes blended with low fat greek yoghurt or skimmed milk
Lunch & Dinner Ideas
Lunch and Dinner ideas
- Lean minced meat and blended casseroles
- Fish pie and pureed vegetables
- Shepherds pie/Cottage pie
- Thick blended vegetable soups/mushroom soup
- Soft pasta in tomato based sauce
- Low fat cottage cheese
- Mashed advocado and 1 soft boiled egg
- Soft poached salmon with mashed potatoes
- Cauliflower cheese with fish and parsley sauce
- Pureed vegetables with meals
- Fish in parsley sauce with mushy peas
- Mashed or pureed tofu /soya / quorn with vegetarian gravy / stock and mashed potatoes and pureed vegetables.
- Well cooked lentils or dahl
- Pureed / stewed fruit with low fat custard
- Mashed banana and low fat custard
- Low fat / sugar yoghurt
- Low fat / sugar mousse
- Sugar free jelly / Low sugar sorbets
- Low fat crème caramel / Angel delight / Blancmange
- Low fat semolina / Fat free sponge soaked in fruit juice
- Serve on a tea plate, drink plenty of fluids throughout the day. ONLY EVER drink fluids before your meal, not with your meal, allow at least 1 hour after a meal
- Always ensure a good protein portion at each meal- as a guide this should be the size of the palm of your hand.
Once you have reached this stage you will be able to resume ‘normal eating’ i.e. all textures of food. You will have been seen by the dietitian (or will have been sent an appointment to be seen in the near future) to discuss a long term eating plan individual to you. This will be designed specifically for you based on the information you provide to your Dietitian, taking into consideration your preferences/intolerances & general lifestyle. You will then be followed up by the dietitian on a regular basis who will monitor your progress, help, support & guide you towards eating a healthier diet for life.
- Once you are this stage you will be consuming smaller amounts than you did prior to the procedure. Try using a childs plate or a tea plate.
- Drink plenty before a meal and wait at least 1 hour before your next drink.
- Eat very slowly & chew you food well – aim to chew 20 times per mouthful.
- Continue to take your multivitamin/mineral + calcium supplement
- Avoid BREAD, MEAT/CHICKEN (minced meat is allowed), & RICE for the first 3 months post op – until you are comfortable with your new way of eating
- Continue to avoid fizzy drinks and chewing gum
- You may find certain foods difficult to tolerate e.g. nuts, pips, seeds, acidic foods such as citrus fruits etc - be careful & avoid if you find these cause a problem
- You should now switch to skimmed milk – this is lower in calories than other milk & the extra fat soluble vitamins mentioned earlier are no longer essential as these will be gained from other foods you are now consuming
- Do not lie down immediately after a meal
- Keep in mind your pouch has a very small capacity – if you overeat it can be stretched causing discomfort and potentially dangerous consequences
Suitable Normal Food Suggestions
- Small banana and low fat yoghurts
- Granary toast & low fat spread with sugar free jam
- Melba toast and marmite
- Low Fat Cereal with semi skimmed milk
- Grapefruit segments and poached egg on toast
- Fresh fruit salad with low fat fromage frais
Lunch / Dinner /Snacks
Lunch / Dinner / Snacks
- Jacket Potato
- Cottage cheese/low fat cheese spread
- Dutch crispbread / Rye bread / Melba toast / oatcakes / ricecakes / pitta / water biscuits / bread sticks
- Pasta / Rice / Cous cous / Noodles *caution with rice
- Mackerel and tomato
- Salmon and cucumber
- Egg salad
- Tuna and onion / baked beans
- Potato salad with mint and low fat yoghurt dressing
- Pasta salads with tomato puree and chopped peppers
- Roast sweet potato and parsnip
Serve on a tea plate, eat slowly chew food well. Remember not to drink with meals. Do not mix vegetables with butter / maragarine.
Post-Gastric Bypass/Sleeve Diet Food Diary
Our dietitians will ask all patients to keep a food diary to record their food and liquid intake, exercise and any comments. This is reviewed on a regular basis to help you get the greatest benefit from your treatment. Any bariatric procedure is a tool, or a starting point for your weight loss journey – you do the work in terms of managing your diet, but the bariatric procedure will help enormously. Food diary.